When I started to read the book from this young french journalist based at Caracas in Venezuela, I knew that I would understand just a few of the whole book. Why? Because I don’t know anything about Venezuela. I know a bit about the embargo in Cuba (perhaps thanks to the rapprochement between USA and Cuba during the last couple of weeks), I also know some stuff about a guy named Che who used to be a doctor in Argentina first, then the leader of uno guerrillero junto con Fidel Castro; “Hasta la Victoria siempre”. But I absolutely don’t know anything about Venezuela and about El Commandante Hugo Chávez.
So I started to read it. It was written as a sequence of different reports about lives in the wildest country of latin America. To be honest, some of the chapters were really terrifying, some were not what I was expecting, and the culture was totally different from what I could imagine. But the narrator was telling stories! And it was so easy to imagine every situation that I read it in a few hours. It was easy to read, easy to understand and easy to feel! Such a big deal for a first book. I never been really interested by latin America but I have to admit being interested by the topic now that I learnt a bit of it.
Now I understand a bit about Caraqueños (people from Caracas) and their formerCommandante. I understand a bit about what he wanted, what he promised, what he tried, and what he did. I understand a bit Spanish too. And now I realize that I really want to speak Spanish…
From a book about something totally different from what I always wanted to do, I discovered that I can use it to improve my own skills. I think we can say that it’s what I like the most, just keep learning.